Mountain Laurel Author:Jude Deveraux Captain Ring Montgomery was handsome, a skilled rider, a crack shot, knowledgeable about the western territories, popular with the men and their ladies - in short, everything Colonel Harrison, commanding officer of Fort Breck, was not. And that was reason enough for the colonel to saddle Montgomery with the most peculiar assignment ever to come ... more »his way: to escort an opera singer into the gold fields of the Colorado Territory so she could sing for the miners.
Ring thought the whole idea was downright foolishness. A Civil War was brewing, and he was expected to play nursemaid to some traveling singer! His plan was to scare the little lady enough so that she'd turn around and head for home. But LaReina, The Singing Duchess - as Madelyn Worth called herself on stage - didn't scare easily.
Not when he painted a vivid picture of the hardships she'd face, not when he slipped past her burly bodyguards and tied her to her bedposts, not even when she attacked him out of pure frustration and he wrestled her to the ground.
Maddie did not want Ring's protection. She had good reasons for coming west, and she didn't intend to explain them to some high-and-mighty soldier who'd only get in her way. This Captain Montgomery might be smart enough to figure out that she was no European duchess, and gentleman enough not to take advantage of her when he'd had the chance, but he'd have to go on thinking she had some insane desire to sing opera to a bunch of ragtag miners. She didn't dare trust him with the truth..."« less